Shadows Before

In hope of a fresh start after being acquitted of the murder of his sister-in-law, Matthew Weir moves his family to Spanwater, a remote manor in the Cotswolds. But his heiress wife Catherine is unsettled in their new home, retreating into childhood memories and wandering the country lanes. Life improves when Aurelia Brett is hired to keep an eye on her, but then Catherine dies suddenly, and arsenic is found in her home-made tea. Evidence points to someone in the house, but Chief Inspector Pardoe finds conflicting clues and suspicious behaviour among Spanwater’s neighbours too. When a second death occurs, Pardoe must race to catch a killer who is both cunning and ruthless.

£8.99

“It won’t be much longer now. Keep your head and hold your tongue.”

In hope of a fresh start after being acquitted of the murder of his sister-in-law, Matthew Weir moves his family to Spanwater, a remote manor in the Cotswolds. But his heiress wife Catherine is unsettled in their new home, retreating into childhood memories and wandering the country lanes. Life improves when Aurelia Brett is hired to keep an eye on her, but then Catherine dies suddenly, and arsenic is found in her home-made tea. Evidence points to someone in the house, but Chief Inspector Pardoe finds conflicting clues and suspicious behaviour among Spanwater’s neighbours too. When a second death occurs, Pardoe must race to catch a killer who is both cunning and ruthless.

Dorothy Bowers (1902 – 1948) was a champion of “fair play” mysteries, in which all the clues are cunningly displayed within the context of the story. The daughter of a bakery owner, she attended Oxford University, and compiled crossword puzzles to supplement her income as a history tutor. A member of the Detection Club, Bowers wrote five crime thrillers before her early death from tuberculosis: Postscript to Poison (1938), Shadows Before (1939), Deed without a Name (1940), Fear and Miss Betony (1941) and The Bells at Old Bailey (1947).


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